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Should Australia force their perceived business beliefs and practices onto others?

Murray, very interesting article and the situation you have painted here would in my experience be a common dilemma faced by many doing business globally, not just Asia. I do not see what is the difference to what is happening offshore to what is actually happening right here in our own country.

Did not 98 councils get caught out in few years back accepting gifts of varying levels and has not the RBA had some yet unproven allegations made against its practices for securing note printing contracts. Let’s also face the facts that there are other examples of such behaviours also and one must say wherever there is money changing hands there will always be issues that arise from time to time.

Whilst the UK has updated its anti corruption bill and the Australian regulators are also moving in this direction to update the existing legislation, we have heard large outcries from some industries operating offshore that if it’s strongly enforced and jail terms for directors then those companies cannot then compete in the global markets, yet they bring back large income flows into the Australian coffers.

It has also been said to me in my travels across some Asian countries, that in Asia the price of doing business is all discussed openly above the table, whilst Australians discuss the price of doing business under the table.

I doubt if the Western cultures and way of doing business would ever be able to conform or meet the 1000 years plus of the various cultures that freely operate their business models they way they do.  The subject matter is taboo to many for discussions but I feel it also needs to be aired and to think you could ever force our own beliefs onto other cultures is really not practicable for many businesses’ to operate in such an environments.

Sometimes we need to understand there is a cost factor in getting product to market and that’s built into the margins and clearly disclosed upfront for all to see. Is there confusion between corruption and cost to get product delivered into the market. I would also be keen to hear what it costs to get the same product you mentioned into a prime location at a large super market chain here in Australia or is that given for free because the range is good.

At this point of the journey I would also like to point out that my company has a strict policy in regards to corruption and we also have it noted in our contracts that we do not get involved in these practices.


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